Recorded in several forms including Ventam, Ventom, Ventham, Venton, and Ventum, this is a surname of English origins. It is locational and originates from a village in the county of Devonshire called Venton, although the village of Bentham in Yorkshire is also a possibility for some nameholders. The transposition of the letters b, v, and f, were a common feature of the development of both dialects and spelling in the late medieval period. The village name as Venton means the hamlet (ton) on the fen (marsh or lake), whilst Bentham translates from the pre 7th century old English as the grass (beonet) farm (ham). The early recordings are quite rare and seemingly only from Devon, although the New Dictionary of American Names claims that the name is of Northumberland origin, suggesting that Bentham may have played a part. Early examples of the surname recording include Thomas Ventum who married Harriett Crossley at St Brides church, Fleet Street, in the city of London, on July 5th 1612, and Winifride Ventham, the daughter of Nathaniel Ventham, christened at St Gregorys church by St Pauls cathedral, on June 6th 1664. John Vennin is recorded as being an early resident of the island of Barbados, being a fully armed member of Colonel Christopher Lyne's regiment of foot in the year 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Venton which was dated 1301, in the Pipe Rolls of Devonshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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